Watch: 125-year-old Yoga guru bows to PM, Prez before receiving Padma Shri
Walking bare feet in the palatial Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan, 125-year-old Swami Sivananda received a standing ovation when he received the Padma Shri award from President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday (March 21).
Before receiving the award, the yoga practitioner prostrated before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President, receiving another round of applause from the guest at the civil investiture ceremony.
Returning the greeting, Prime Minister Modi promptly bowed and touched the ground.
Before reaching the dais, the yoga guru, dressed in white kurta and dhoti, knelt twice again, and the President stepped out and helped Sivananda rise to his feet, after which he handed over the award and the citation.
While presenting the award, the President was seen talking to the Swami as the two posed for pictures with the Darbar hall echoing with the applause.
So heart touching 😢
125 Year old Yoga Guru from Kashi, Swami Sivananda receives Padma Shri for his immense contribution in the field of #Yoga#PadmaAwards #PeoplesPadma #PadmaAwards2022 #PadmaShri pic.twitter.com/1PKLHzezOT
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) March 21, 2022
Swami Sivananda has dedicated his life to the welfare of human society. His simplest ways of disciplined and well-regulated life with early morning Yoga, oil-free boiled diet and selfless service to mankind in his own way have given him disease-free and tension-free longest life. He demonstrates his life as an exemplary lesson rather than preaching.
Born on August 8, 1896 in Sylhet district (now in Bangladesh) of undivided India, Swami Sivananda lost his mother and father at the age of six. Due to abject poverty, his beggar parents could feed him mainly boiled rice water during his childhood days.
After the funeral rites, he was brought to his Guruji’s Ashram at Nabadwip in West Bengal. Guru Omkarananda Goswami brought him up, imparted all practical and spiritual education including Yoga without school education.
He has been a positive thinker throughout his life. ‘The world is my home, its people are my fathers and mothers, to love and serve them is my religion’– this has been his belief.
He is chasing that mission till today to serve the underprivileged in different parts of the country – in North East India, at Varanasi, Puri, Haridwar, Nabadwip and so on, according to the Rashtrapati Bhavan document on Padma awardees.
For the last 50 years, Swami Sivananda has been serving 400-600 leprosy-affected beggars with dignity at Puri by personally meeting them at their hutments.
(With inputs from agencies)